Saturday, May 5, 2012

About Hunting and Gathering

When I was in school I learned about hunters and gatherers. Hunting and gathering was the main occupation of people long time before we had computers, cars and TVs. They used most all of their time to find FOOD. Though at Wikipedia I found that Humans actually were scavenging, not actual hunting. What that means is they FOUND food, as opposite to chasing their food through the woods, before they finally could kill it. Along the coast scavenging most likely also included looking for crabs, washed-up fish, eggs and other edible ingredients.

Rather than killing large animals themselves for meat, they used carcasses of large animals killed by other predators or carcasses from animals that died by natural causes. 

All this played out about 1.8 million years ago. It was shortly after humans had abandoned walking on all fours. Scientists call these early brothers “Homo erectus” . This type of livelihood lasted until about 10,000 years ago.

The fact that humans survived over such a long time period is proof enough that the techniques they so eagerly employed paid off in the long run. 

Today, we can see the merits of such a way of living. These humans never needed a job, they had never to worry about the IRS or Revenue Canada and that their Credit Cards were screaming after being paid off.

As an RVer I would think well of this kind of life. But then there were no RVs either in those long gone days.

Guess, I strayed from the topic here. Cause the topic is not so much the hunting but the gathering. Me, I think gathering is inherent in the human kind.

Just look what’s going on in all these flea markets. And aren’t most of us just going crazy when we find that special bargain? What about a “Black Friday Sale or that Big-Box-Close-out they advertised. And when we came home with those bargains we put them somewhere and 6 weeks later they had been – forgotten? We even know about those frantic bargain coupon hunters. They fill their house with cheap toilet paper, cause the roll was 50cents off when they bought a whole pallet.

When I walk the beach I simply NEED to gather up something, like a round egg-shaped rock (found one today!) or the odd piece of driftwood (found one today as well) and then what we do with it?  Look at the picture below. That’s what we did with those egg-and ball-shaped rocks. What a pleasure to find your way around it with the lawnmower.

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But there is more to gathering things. When we left the ‘old world’ we also left loads of stuff behind us. Had we taken everything with us we would have had to lease a commercial freighter. (and all of it) How DID we accumulate all this – junk? 


When we moved from the prairies of Alberta to the coastal charms of Campobello we had disposed of truck loads of stuff. Had we kept it all we would have had to rent the east going goods train of the Canadian National Railway.


At this point I want to stress that gathering is not gaining.  We didn’t gain as we gathered.

Am I making myself clear here?

It seems we cannot live without gathering. Look into our shed, our garage and our house! Moving again is out of the question.

When we take off in the late fall, going South we live on whatever we need in our home on wheels. Every winter we find that we don’t miss the stuff left at home. How many shirts do we really need? How many pairs of pants do I wear? How many coats is enough to protect me from being cold?

Oh well, you’ve got the idea and I can stop right here.

Have a nice Sunday. Tomorrow there is probably a flea market somewhere close to where you live.

Thanks for stopping by.



  1. The Moral of the story is we can all learn to live with less. Go to the flea market but keep your hands and your wallet in your pocket.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. But the gathering of STUFF is the fun part!

  3. have fun gathering..we are trying to rid ourselves of stuff!!

  4. Great post, Peter! We just got rid of a bunch of stuff, but I have no doubts we'll 'gather's some more!

    I have learned to really try and cut down on the stuff we bring down south for the winter and it seems to work just fine.

  5. I think we are all gatherers. Some people gather more than others but the search can be fun.

  6. Being fulltime it is very difficult for us to gather anymore. The rule for us is one in one out. But we still go to flea markets just tpo look.


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